The Heart of Yoga by Desikachar

The first recommendation I will give is the first book I read on yoga.  The story about how I found out about this book is a little amusing.  After a few months of doing yoga, I was becoming more interested in the subject but at the same time a bit leery of the ‘weird’ stuff.  Ron Reid was my teacher and I found him intimidating so it took some courage for me to go up to talk to him after class.  When I did, I asked in a non-committal way:   “I’m kind of interested in reading about yoga.  Can you recommend me a book, but without any of that God stuff?”  Ron looked at me with that now familiar thoughtful expression while pondering which book to suggest.  He suggested the Heart of Yoga (which by the way has quite a bit of what I would call ‘God stuff’ but in a practical way that can be applied to day-to-day living. 
It took me a year to read this book cover to cover.  The ‘yoga and spiritual language’ was new to me and I wanted to fully absorb the teachings.  So before bed I would read one or two paragraphs and then I would sit in a meditative pose and try to ‘feel’ the meaning of what I had read.  I would go to sleep with those feelings and the next morning and all day long I would feel the teachings being absorbed into my being.
It’s a wonderfully deep book that ‘talks’ to us with a language easy to comprehend and I’ve continued, as my teacher did to me, to recommend it to anyone who asks me where to start in their yogic reading.